Guelph ON – Northern Ontario businesses are invited to participate in a $15,000 agri-food innovation challenge focused on innovative solutions to improving food security in Northern communities.
Powered by Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario (FedNor) and Bioenterprise Canada, the Northern Food Security Challenge will see six selected finalists participate in a virtual pitch competition hosted in partnership with Ingenuity, Lakehead University’s business incubator space.
“Remote and Northern communities face unique barriers to food security and who better to help find solutions to these challenges than those who are living them,” says Dave Smardon, CEO of Bioenterprise Canada. “Our goal with this competition is to identify and support Northern early-stage companies who have innovative solutions, processes or technologies that can improve reliable access to nutritious, affordable food in the North.”
The winner will receive a cash prize of $10,000 with $5,000 provided to the runner-up. Applications accepted until June 18 and will be judged on the problem or opportunity they are addressing and their ability to solve it, team experience and readiness for business growth, and the overall impact to agri-food security in the North.
To be eligible, applicants must be incorporated, for-profit Canadian companies headquartered in Northern Ontario and operating in the agriculture or food and beverage sector with five or less full-time equivalent employees. Complete details are available on the Bioenterprise Canada website.
This Challenge is the latest initiative of Bioenterprise’s Northern Ontario Program. In 2021, Bioenterprise launched a pan-Northern Ontario pilot hub to serve as a single source of agri-food sector networking and business acceleration services. The hub is focused on connecting Northern Ontario start-ups and early-stage businesses with services and targeted resources across Ontario and Canada.
Funding for the Northern Ontario Program is provided by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario.
Bioenterprise is Canada’s Food & Agri-Tech Engine, a national agri-technology focused commercialization accelerator. Bioenterprise uses its 20 years of industry experience and a global network of experts, mentors, funders, researchers, and industry partners to help small and medium-sized agri-food businesses connect, innovate and grow. Learn more.